Martinelli – Arteta is just being careful with his Brazilian jewel

Martinelli’s Minutes Are Not a Problem


Fans are wondering why Martinelli is not playing more these days. They miss the Brazilian’s speed, effort and drive on the flanks and in the middle. He is an exciting young talent with everything to become a complete inside-forward or striker.


However, football is not so straightforward. Some will point to Saka’s minutes as an example of what regular football can do to a youngster’s game. They forget that Saka is not just a technical phenomenon and is already battling Premier League defenders physically with much success. Saka is also more versatile, capable of slotting into so many roles. Martinelli on the other hand has only two positions he can play at a good level and two of those positions are being contested by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette. It is difficult as it is to not play the captain or a 72 million euro acquisition.


That is even going too far. Martinelli is a teenager just coming off a 10 month injury layoff. He was rushed back to play 45 minutes against Manchester City in the league cup and promptly walked off with a limp. His style of play is really exhausting. He runs everywhere and all the time. If his load is not carefully managed, another bad injury will permanently affect his game and Arsenal will lose some of his most promising qualities. That will be disastrous for such a brilliant young lad. It is very much better to be safe than sorry with Martinelli. He is not physically matured yet but he moves about like the Brazilian Ronaldo. Unless we want a similar repeat of that, we must be very patient with him.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 22: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal goes down injured during the Carabao Cup. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

He just returned back to full training in January and has sustained another small injury. This is not the time of the season to start trying to get a 19-year-old match fit in record time when you have an abundance of other options. It is not unusual if a player takes a month to fully recover fitness and sharpness after such a long layoff, especially a teenager.


Mikel Arteta sees him as a big talent, don’t worry. The lad plays like a dream for how Arteta wants to play. He hasn’t even played bad upon his return. The coach is just being careful with his Brazilian jewel, as he should be. Martinelli is not Saka. He will play at the right time.

Agboola Israel


  1. Arteta is right .. there is no need of rushing him…He still young. It’s not good for him to end his career like Diaby.. Martinelli runs like Theo Walcott.. Such players often get injuries and they take long to recover..Boss knows when to give that young boy a chance to compete

    1. Actually Brother, we don’t want to loss him for injury like the way we loss players like wilshere, Abou Diaby an tomas Rosicky

  2. Totally agree!
    We have at Arsenal precedent of overplaying talented youngsters and running them to the ground, playing them too soon when they return from injury and not allowing them to heal properly and build themselves back up physically to a level that allows avoid. Remember Wilshere? : ) Hell, it might be happening with Smith-Rowe right now to an extent (side note: which is why the Odegaard loan comes at a perfect time btw)

    Let’s give time for Gabi to bulk up and strengthen so he can safely be called upon when we will need him not only this season but the next ones.

  3. Arteta want the tried and tested old horses who cannot deliver the goods. If it was not for Emery, Saka wouldn’t be where he is today. Arteta cannot groom youngsters as it’s a norm at City, where he’s coming from. He just wanna buy players, forgetting the one’s at his disposal

    1. Yeah, he never gives any chances to youngsters, never!
      That’s why Nketiah, Smith Rowe, Saka & co never were seen on the pitch since his arrival, eh?

      1. Nketia, Smith-Rowe, Willock, Nelson, Saka, Martinelli.
        Some of them might not have worked out but he gave all of them a chance.
        He himself has a job to protect. Can’t just give any fan favourite game time for the same of appeasing the fanbase. Arteta is also under pressure to perform and get results. So there needs to be a balance. Before you think about anyone else you gotta think about yourself first. And I think that’s what 90% of managers do. Look for ways yo get results in order to protect your job and reputation. Fan sentiment comes later.

    2. Armoury We have loads of hidden talent Arteta will not give them a chance stick with the over 30’s

  4. If Arteta is trying to protect Martinelli why is he putting the player on the bench? Surely any player on the bench should be ready to play if called on.
    There have been opportunities when the player could have come on but Arteta decided not to. Does not make sense to me.
    If he is fit, put him on bench. If he is not fit then leave him out
    And for what it’s worth, Martinelli will be 10 times the player Nkethia will ever be. Just get this kid fit and get him in the team

    1. For experience .. Assurance that he will watch the match unlike if he is at home distraction occur

    2. Phil, I do love reading your contributions a lot even if I hardly interact with them and I do count you as one of the smart people on here, but you’ve never wondered or asked why he’s yet to play a single game for the U23 ?
      Is it not obvious both the coach and club are actually keeping him away from playing and worsening his long term fitness levels?

    3. Phil, The bench, now that we have so many subs to choose from as compared to previous times, is a very much different tactical weapon now, from before. Most subs who are perhaps not considered not FULLY match fit are only likely to play- if at all – for a few minutes.
      I trust MA to manage Martinellis comeback wisely and cautiously. It seems you don’t . Nor on much else either where MA is concerned and THAT is the key difference between us on this issue.

      We can both agree on Martinelli being way better thanNketiah, whom neither of us nor many others either rate much at all. Why not trust our manager more though! A man of your wisdom and experience can surely see his personal qualities.

  5. He was actually meant to stay out ten months, but I think his layoff was 6 months. His recovery was fast, and though he wants to play and he once said he’s fit.
    The doctors and coach are not willing to risk it anymore after risking him in the city and Chelsea game. Thankfully injury he got during that warm up woke them up to the fact that he needs protection.

    Okay for context sake, and for people who actually thinks and say I act like I know stuff going on inside the club all the time. I really don’t do that, I just tend to actually take my own time following up genuine reports about the club. I don’t get my stuff from arsenalnews dot com.
    There are actually a list of reliable correspondent you could follow regarding the club.
    If you do follow up on arsenal news and reports a lot not just rumors, I mean news coming out from the club you’d know that Chris Wheatley is an Arsenal correspondent and he’s reliable even though he’s not on the same Oracle level as Ornstein.

    He carried out an interview with Dr Rajpal Brar, DPT, a specialist in sports medicine who regularly posts video explainers on football player injuries to help provide a wider understanding to on the specifics and recovery process.

    So as not to use my own words, here’s a part of it.

    Chris Wheatley: Dr. Brar, DPT, thanks for your time. Could you talk about the surgery that Gabriel Martinelli underwent over the summer?

    Dr Raj: “A cartilage is tissue in your knee joint that helps reduce force and friction. Think of it as a cushion between your knee bones – your femur which is your thigh bone and your shine bone which your tibia.

    An arthroscopic procedure is where they take tiny little instruments, cut little holes or ‘portals’ and they go in with a camera and the tools they need to repair what they’re doing.

    On the spectrum of surgery it’s considered one of the non-invasive side of things. From my understanding they’ve gone in and repaired what’s damaged, which is not always an option. The fact that he’s had it repaired is a very good sign for his long-term career.

    The fact that he’s young and quite fit before is quite beneficial. Arsenal are probably being relatively conservative with him due to the fact that he’s 19 and has a long career ahead of him, so you don’t want to rush him back either.”

    But I’m willing to bet you there are still fans who will keep singing Arteta doesn’t like Martinelli or youngsters, Arteta has an issue with Martinelli. He has a big ego.
    No one ever wonder why Martinelli is yet to play a single game for the U23 too?
    Because Martinelli said he was fit doesn’t mean he can pass himself fit. Someone here the other day said the doctors keep detecting some muscle strain or so that’s why they’re keeping in him out. To the average person, none of this matters. Everyone just want to start a rift between player and coach that’s not there

    1. Harvey Barnes had damaged his cartilage and kept playing against us his injury worsened and will now need surgery and a longer lay off!

      1. Which could’ve been avoided. Wish him quick recovery. Fantastic player for his age.
        Hope he comes back better.
        Funny thing is Smith Rowe was having recurring injury issues before December that he was introduced, his fitness levels were in question, but fans actually thought Arteta had no plans for him and doesn’t rate him.
        One question. Why would he keep the boy from going out on loan after having a successful time last season, why would he stop the boy from going to another club if he had no plans for him.
        If fans have their way, they would run a whole lot of players down much more worse than the Wilshere saga.

        1. I agree!also i wouldn’t be surprised if the people who are complaining about Martinelli not playing were the same ones who were up in arms when he injured himself during his first game back from injury i have to admit i wasn’t too happy either i thought he came back too soon especially after TP injury in the NLD but as long as MA learns from his mistakes which he seems to have done I’m ok with it.

  6. I agree with protecting him but he is still being put on the bench which implies that Arteta would use him.

    If he is not 100% or close to 100% then he shouldn’t be on the bench. We aren’t desperate for him even though he is one of my Favourite Arsenal players because he’s QUALITY

    1. My guess is that Martinelli is only able to(relatively) safely do a limited amount of time in a match before the strain on his body becomes an issue.
      Arteta keeps him as an option but doesn’t actually have to use him if what’s happening for the team on a pitch doesn’t require the lad.
      It’s not like he’s the only choice on the bench.

      This still allows for Gabi to continue learning his trade by being part of matchday squads and potentially getting a few minutes here and there while he continues to improve his fitness week in week out. 🙂

  7. Fit or not fit gamble on it, football is a game of luck n gamble, they r just giving excuses not to buy a player in the future because wen a player is needed, then they will bring in martinelli to fit in to draw our attention away from what we need, it’s an arsenal way, they never get things done, they always get players injured, they r just toying with young Ronaldo’s career

  8. People say arteta has something against martenelli because he apparently hates youngsters but if that was the case why even bother putting him on the bench. He would have just ditched him like ozil. Gabi is not a twat like guendouzi and saliba or a contract rebel like balogun, he is just one of the most talented players we have who got a long term injury, came back early got injured again, came back then got injured in the warm up. That’s TWICE he got injured right after coming back from injury.

    1. Ackshay When you write”People say” I suggest you describe the average age or at least generation of those “people”.
      What I never fail to notice is that virtually all hasty, unthinking posts are from YOUNG peoplre and rarely from those who have more patience and who have learned that you are not entitled to ALL you wish, INSTANTLY. OR SOMETIMES, NOT EVEN AT ALL.

      I have never seen a single post from an older fan who stupidly alleges that MA holds a grudge against young players. Why am I not surprised!

      1. Please how do you determine people’s age here?
        Don’t tell me it’s by reading comments because most of your comments suggests that you are new generation age while you claim differently…
        I don’t think I saw an age box to tick when I wrote my comment….
        You can put a post without always ranting about been older than Methuselah

  9. Some people have never learnt the virtue of patience. Arteta is doing his level best to ensure the young lad get enough time to become full fit to play again

  10. Phil’s point about being on the bench is a perfectly valid one.
    If, as someone suggested, it was to get experience of first team action (which he already has of course) why couldn’t he just be part of the the group and sit alongside Arteta himself?

    I have read both MA’s and Martinelli’s comments and they seem to be quite relaxed with the situation – but this was why I brought up Martinelli name when discussing TMJW’S recent article…. having on the bench as one of the substitutes, but not giving him ANY playing time (Aubameyang for the last ten minutes against Leicester???) is not doing anything for the player and his return(?) to fitness – unless I’m missing something?

  11. true, we don’t need to rush the young lad but I feel its wise to play him maybe say,20minutes tops. however,I totally object to the view that the 72million acquisition, pepe, is a better option than Gab. Gabriel makes essential runs that Pepe cannot.

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